Dortmund: Four draws in round four

by André Schulz
7/18/2019 – In yesterday's 4th round of the Sparkassen Chess meeting, all games ended without a winner. Leinier Dominguez (pictured right) thus defended his lead in the tournament. Wojtaszek, Radjabov (pictured left) and Rapport remain a half point back in this short seven-round sprint. Thursday is the tournament's second (and final) rest day. Play resumes on Friday at 13:15 UTC (15:15 CEST, 9:15 AM EDT) | Photos: Georgios Souleidis

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Three rounds to play

After the first three rounds with many decisive games, yesterday at the Sparkassen Chess meeting in Dortmund, all four games ended without a winner.

Leinier Dominguez had taken the lead and had to defend it against Teimour Radjabov. A Ruy Lopez Steinitz Defence morphed into a structure typical of the King's Indian Defence — a core part of Radjabov's repertoire — without either side gaining the upper hand.


After 30...g3, Black threatens ...♜xf3. Dominguez dealt with the queen invasion by 31.g4 and after 32...h2+, the black queen is menacing, but also a bit isolated. The f2 knight defends his king reliably reinforcing the rule of thumb that "the knight is the king's best friend". A few moves later, a draw was agreed. 


Dominguez setting set for Round 4 | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

The game between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Radoslaw Wojtaszek ended quite quickly in an endgame resulting from the Sicilian Najdorf. After a few exchanges, the opposite coloured biships pointed towards a draw. 


Here is where Tabula Rasa was made: 36.xc6 xb4 37.xa6 xc4 38.xh6 a5 39.h4 xa4 40.hxg5 d2 41.f6 + xg5 42.xe5 e4 43.f4+ xf4 44.xf4 xf4 45.xf4+ xf4 draw. 

Fridman vs Rapport

Daniel Fridman, Black against Richard Rapport | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

Richard Rapport and Daniel Fridman dove deep into the games theoretical past. Rapport answered Fridman's offer of a Petroff Defence with the four-knights game and the players followed a line that was already employed back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After a few moves, a picture emerged that is typical today for many games of the open games.


With 12...d5 Black now clarified the situation in the centre. As the middlegame progressed, the Black's advantage increased, although by the time the players reached move 40 it was White who could claim a small plus. Despite some initiative for Rapport, after 71 moves the point was shared here as well. 

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu tested Kaido Kulaots for 30 moves in a bishop ending, but Kulaots, who qualified for Dortmund by winning the Aeroflot Open and is a massive underdog by rating, was up to the task.


In the end, White failed to make progress and the draw was agreed.

Results of Round 4 


Standings after Round 4


All games


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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